Tips from the 1930s for insomnia

Insomnia is sadly something I have to deal with for quite a while now; I have tried everything within my reach to come to terms with it but alas ... Mr. Sandman is not aware of my existence I'm afraid. In the end I became a victim of sleeping pills only to quit these in 2013; I decided that it wouldn't do me any good and that it actually gave me fake rest cause, in the end, I was still very tired when waking up the following morning. Quitting these meant that my insomnia came back.

Sleep is a very important factor to retain your beauty. At night, your skin works very hard to recover what it had to endure during the day. In these days, we hardly take time to get enough sleep and, instead of the old proverb 'early to bed and early to rise' it now became 'late to bed and early to rise'. Your skin is the first of them all to pay the high toll for these hours of waking. Your beautiful vintage hand mirror probably shows you dark circles under your puffy, bloodshot eyes, crow's feet, laugh lines and a gaunt skin. Well, mine for one does! Creams are vital to help your skin rejuvenate and many women rush to the store to buy these and splurge it onto their faces after seeing their exhausted face in the mirror. But the cheapest and most easy available remedy for these beauty problems, is sleep. Yes, what granny told you about sleeping properly is true! You remember now why a beauty sleep is called a beauty sleep?

I promised that I would discuss, step by step, the dutch beauty book 'moderne schoonheids- en gezondheids verzorging '(trans: Modern beauty and health care) and the topic sleep, insomnia and natural sleep aids is one of them.

Anka Welman, Moderne schoonheids- en gezondheids verzorging, 1930 says:
For a good health, the normal adult needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Only after a refreshing night's sleep, one can start the day fresh and, so to speak, as a new human being. A disturbed night, for whatever reason, influences not only your work, the zest for life, but above all your appearance. That is why every woman, who values her appearance and health, would do everything to avoid anything that would disturb her good night's sleep. Firstly, in the importance of a good night's sleep, labor and chores needs to be done during the day and sleep at night. One does well to get used to go to bed in time as this will improve falling asleep. It is also advisable to wake up early.

A "good" night's sleep means sleeping as little as possible on the right side and stretched out and the head should be only a little higher than the body. The face should not be clogged in the pillow, because this leads to early wrinkling.

Great attention should be given to nervous insomnia. This defect is, even for doctors, difficult to cure. Ofcourse; if one goes to bed with the belief not being able to fall asleep, it certainly will not happen at all. The internationally used barbiturates, and other of such aids, are not only harmful to health, but they also lead to the habit. The operation of pharmaceutical sleep aids - from rather innocent to dangerous - is, that they temporarily paralyze the sleep area of the brain. An immediate result of such sleep aids, is also that the person with insomnia is still suffering from the after effects of it the following day. These people are usually bad tempered and virtually unfit for labor, not to mention the usually occuring headaches.

Innocent sleep aids are Valerian-, orange blossom, anise tea or warm anise milk or a glass of warm milk or a glass of beer are well known that it promotes sleep. Cold or lukewarm showers, cold or tepid covers wrapped around the body, cold compresses in the neck (so that it covers half of the back of the head) a lukewarm bath or foot bath before going to bed are well known natural sleep-inducing agents.

It deserves a mention to displace concerns as much as possible in the evening. It is known that, immediately when one turns off the light, frequent thoughts and concerns come up in the mind. It is therefore necessary to oust these feelings with determination in one way or another. To do this, it is absolutely necessary to exercise oneself in mind control and self discipline and take measure of a healthy philosophy of life. This is definitely not a lack of life earnest but rather on the contrary: this life philosophy has seriousness, wisdom and mental balance as a foundation.

Feelings of suffering and repentance are feelings that are unnecessary and which requires our energy and, besides, these are feelings that can seldom change anything about the fact. Therefor so: get rid of it. Because it doesn't only rob us from our sleep, they also work adversely on the appearance, which certainly doesn't make the life of a woman any better.


  1. These tips are more than welcome. I suffer from this "Lady Insomnia", every night she comes to visit me. I never slept much when I was a child and never slept well when I was a teen. Now, I still hardly sleep with the aggravating of having a baby with almost 2 years now, that awakes every hour in the night and sometimes less. I sleep so little.

    The camomile tea face/skin treatment works wonderfully for me! As I said I was going to try. But truly above all I need desperately to sleep. And I don't know if it was because I read these tips here last night, but I had a better night sleep! ;-)

    The tips are very wise. Thank you for sharing.

    Miss Beta

    1. Oh I am so glad it did something for you! Both the skin treatment as these tips for insomnia. It didn't work for me though! I was thinking too much that I hád to sleep and I couldn't. I had an early appointment today and I was more dead than alive.

  2. Sweet dear, I'm very sorry that you've battled so long and hard against insomnia. I frequently, most nights actually, have painsomnia, which is similar, but of course not entirely the same thing. Still, I can completely relate to what it's like to be up most nights and to get little - and typically very light/restless - sleep when your lids do eventually close (it's been 11.5 years solid of life like this for me now). Warm baths shortly before bed can sometimes help me a little there, but because my sleepless is pain driven, little other than reducing the pain usually helps much.

    Here's to us brave souls who know the nighttime hours as well as we do the daytime ones.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. I really miss a bath! I had one in my former home. I hate having insomnia but having painsomnia is much worse! I feel really bad for you. There's no medication you can take for it?


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